Helmeted Hornbill

Helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil) is the largest hornbill in Asia which distributes in semi evergreen & evergreen lowland forest in Sumatra & Kalimantan. This species is truly monogamous where the female is highly dependent on male for feeding the whole family in the nest. It is also called as a forest-dependent species since the male build the nest in natural tree hole where the female giving birth to one or two chicks. Helmeted hornbill known as farmer of the forest as they are very effective seed disperser, moving Ficus species’ seeds far from the parent tree.

Due to their dependency on forest, deforestation becomes one of the main threats of helmeted hornbill. Besides deforestation, their life is threatened by poaching & illegal wildlife trade. They are poached for their casque or well-known as “red” ivory. Until 2016, there are at least 1,117 specimens of helmeted hornbill’s casque confiscated in Indonesia. Lao PDR, China and Vietnam are countries with high demand on this species’ part. Besides Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand are sources, while Lao PDR is a transit point.

What we do?

- Law enforcement and policies strengthening: we are regularly giving technical support to authorities to combat helmeted hornbill trade from investigation to legal monitoring to ensure that the law has been enforced fairly & transparently.

- WCS Indonesia altogether with WCS global had been succeeded CITES to adopt a strong Resolution and Decisions calling for urgent and integrated conservation and law enforcement measures, as well as coordinated efforts on the part of both consumer and range states as necessary to prevent Helmeted Hornbill from going extinct.

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